Situation in the Gulf of Guinea deteriorates
The European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA), founded in 1965, used the recent ECR conference on maritime security and the blue economy in the European Parliament to raise the alarm about the dire security situation in the Gulf of Guinea.
"Urgent action has to be taken by the EU right away. The new European Commission wants to be a geopolitical commission, and this is a topic that the geopolitical commission can deliver on," said Martin Dorsman, ECSA's secretary general.
In 2019, there were 162 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships worldwide. These included 4 hijacked vessels, 17 attempted attacks, 130 vessels boarded and 11 vessels fired upon. With an average crew number of 20 per vessel, these figures mean that over 3,000 seafarers experienced acts of piracy and armed robbery.
Specifically in the Gulf of Guinea, the dramatic increase in the number of crew kidnappings constitutes a global emergency for the shipping industry. The region accounted for 90% of kidnappings reported, with 121 crew members taken in 2019. The assaults and kidnappings occurred mainly in Nigeria, but also in Togo, Benin and Cameroon. (mw)